Thursday, April 07, 2005

Zen Signal Processing

I saw two very different kinds of birds yesterday. One, a male mallard duck, was pretty obvious because of the distinctive plumage, size, and the fact that it was dead as a doornail. Webbed feet to the sky. No obvious signs of violence, but the fact remained it was a former duck. Hard to miss.

The other was very easy to miss. Hummingbirds around here tend to go camo green, and since we have actual green trees pretty much all the time they blend in rather well. I saw it too, and that made me happy. It was just about the size of a leaf, and either doing an in-place hover or a high-speed zip which also makes it hard to follow. You have to be alert and aware to see hummingbirds.

The Zen of it is not noticing one kind of bird or the other, but both. Allow every signal to have equal weight and you have a firehose of data, impossible to process from sheer bulk. Only see what is large, colorful, and obvious --- your world has a lot of dead ducks in it, but no hummingbirds. Dancing on the edge of the sword; cultivating the dreaming alertness that will let you only see the hummingbirds that are there ... that is the Zen.

Snarkatron recommends drinking Oolong with this post


Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

With me, it's finding the frogs. Frogs are fragile - the fact that my self-built pond is essentially a self-sustaining ecosystem (except for water replenishment during dry spells) is a source of pride.

And I was wondering last fall if my little pond was a either a Monastery of a Nunnery - but there are younglings this spring, cavorting amone the returning pond plants.

Life is good.

Prefer Earl Grey or a Pekoe right now, I think.

2:15 PM, April 07, 2005  
Blogger Barb said...

I love spotting hummingbirds - it always brings pleasure to my hear when I do so. In SoCal I lived for a while at the edge of a golf course, and the little guys were everywhere.

It's a hoot to have one suddenly appear directly in front of you without warning. I'm talking 6" in front of the face, by the way!

Being a coffee person, my choice is a mocha today.

10:09 AM, April 08, 2005  
Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

Heh. Well, some much for respecting the BlogGaia's drink requests!

12:05 PM, April 08, 2005  
Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

And how *do* you induce those spelling errors, anyway?

I blame Boogger. Er, Blogger!

12:06 PM, April 08, 2005  
Blogger Sgt. B. said...

Nevermind that them hummingbirds were prolly some of Chief Bill's students "in the day"...
And them red-tailed hawks wuz collegues of Koolaid's...
John seeks froggies, and I'm more of a lizard-dude...

But, in the evening, when all is quiet, and the insects begin to sing, and the world draws that dark blanket over itself, even a place as seemingly barren as 29Palm's Delta "T" takes on a rugged beauty that even a hardened grunt can't ignore.
I stood on a low mesa, and watched as the lights of distant cities glowed gently on the horizon, and shared a pack of crackers as my brothers and silently enjoyed what God had wrought, and the presence of brother warriors, now granted a respite of peace... It was a good moment.

*take this one with a nice cool sip from your canteen...*

2:49 PM, April 11, 2005  

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